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Actress Cynthia Nixon Calls for Marijuana Reparations for Blacks

By Melanie Arter | May 8, 2018 | 7:01pm EDT
Actress Cynthia Nixon (Screenshot)

Actress Cynthia Nixon, best known for her role on “Sex and the City,” angered black leaders Monday by suggesting that legalizing marijuana in New York can be a form of reparations for slavery for the black community.

The actress turned New York gubernatorial candidate is running on a platform of legalizing marijuana.

“Now that cannabis is exploding as an industry, we have to make sure that those communities that have been harmed and devastated by marijuana arrests get the first shot at this industry,” Nixon told Forbes magazine.

“We [must] prioritize them in terms of licenses. It's a form of reparations,” she said.

Nixon’s comments sparked outrage from black leaders, including Rev. Al Sharpton, who tweeted, “I'm for legalizing marijuana and I like Cynthia Nixon but putting pot shops in our communities is not reparations.”

“"Health care, education !!" Sharpton added.

NY Daily News quoted Manhattan Democratic Party Chairman Keith Wright as saying Nixon’s comments were “ill-informed,” adding that she “lacks understanding of the greatest crime in history, and should cease and desist."

Wright said Nixon “should relegate her comments to legalization, pro or con.”

"I believe social equity should be a part of licenses to sell marijuana, if and when legalization does occur. However, it is insulting to my soul, that the free labor that my ancestors gave to this country would be equated with the selling of marijuana," he added.

Black Lives Matter of Greater NY issued a statement, saying Nixon's comments were "offensive and ignorant.”

The group said Nixon’s comments do “a disservice to our community for her to play into harmful stereotypes of African-Americans as drug users and dealers.”

"And it does an even greater disservice to the enduring consequences of both slavery and Jim Crow and the inequities these systems of oppression perpetuated to claim that legalizing marijuana would somehow erase that experience," it said.

 

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